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Cemetery Boys

By: Aiden Thomas

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can't get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He's determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

ISBN: 9781250250469

JLG Release: Jan 2021


Sensitive Areas: Discrimination: Gender Identity , Language: Strong Language , Violence: Abuse Reference/Discussion , Crime: Gang/Organized Crime , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes
Topics: Transgender people , Witches , Magic , Spirits , Hispanic and Latino Americans , Family life , LGBTQ , Ghost stories , Paranormal romance , Los Angeles, California

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Awards & Honors

2020 National Book Award Longlist for Young People's Literature
Publisher's Weekly Best Young Adult Books of 2020
2021 Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults, ALA
2021 Bram Stoker Award Finalist

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Yadriel is a transgender teen boy growing up in East L.A., where for centuries, brujos have been responsible for releasing the spirits of the dead, and brujas have healed the living. When Yadriel's family can't accept that he is a boy and not cut out for healing, Yadriel is forbidden from attempting the ritual in secret, but abruptly discovers that Yadriel is a transgender teen boy growing up in East L.A., where for centuries, brujos have been responsible for releasing the spirits of the dead, and brujas have healed the living. When Yadriel's family can't accept that he is a boy and not cut out for healing, Yadriel is forbidden from attempting the ritual in secret, but abruptly discovers that his cousin Miguel has just been murdered. When searching for Miguel's spirit, Yadriel and Maritza instead stumble upon murdered schoolmate Julian Diaz, who demands that Yadriel help find out what happened to him. Thomas is generally successful at weaving various Latinx customs and traditionas into this #OwnVoices supernatural romance. Spanish words and phrases are liberally peppered throughout, and their meanings are generally clear from context. The occasionally repetitive writing has minimal cursing; the characters and their struggles are authentic, showcasing their need for acceptance from their loved ones but also their refreshing certainty about who they are and what they stand forA whodunit with a tender and forbidden love story that will draw readers in as it gradually unfolds to a gratifying conclusion.

Horn Book

Unlike the rest of his family, Yadriel is kept from having a quinces, the traditional coming-of-age ceremony to become a brujo. Yadriel is trans and gay, i.e., “Head Black Sheep among the brujx.” Despite his family’s reluctance to even try and find out if gender identity will affect his abilities to guide spirits into the afterlife, Yadriel h Unlike the rest of his family, Yadriel is kept from having a quinces, the traditional coming-of-age ceremony to become a brujo. Yadriel is trans and gay, i.e., “Head Black Sheep among the brujx.” Despite his family’s reluctance to even try and find out if gender identity will affect his abilities to guide spirits into the afterlife, Yadriel holds his own ceremony with the help of a fellow black sheep of the family (for her vegan principles, which preclude her using her healing magic), his cousin, Maritza. When another cousin meets an untimely death, Yadriel and Maritza seek answers of their own, teaming up with a mysterious spirit, Julian, who is also queer and has an unconventional found family. Packed with eerie adventure, tingly romance, and family drama, the novel lays bare the tension between upholding tradition and reaching full self-acceptance. Cheeky, relatable characters bring humor and lightness into Thomas’s debut, which also takes on themes of death, loss, abandonment, and rejection. The natural integration of phrases in Spanish, Día de los Muertos traditions, and varied community structures showcases the broad range of experiences that make up Latinidad. GABI K. HUESCA

Book Details

ISBN

9781250250469

First Release

January 2021

Genre

Fiction

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 2/5"

Page Count

352

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Swoon Reads

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Discrimination: Gender Identity , Language: Strong Language , Violence: Abuse Reference/Discussion , Crime: Gang/Organized Crime , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes

Topics

Transgender people, Witches, Magic, Spirits, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Family life, LGBTQ, Ghost stories, Paranormal romance, Los Angeles, California,

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